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explosive new allegations swarm the pharmacy at the center of the deadly meningitis outbreak. and, crowning achievement. before the big re-opening, tonight, a first look at the $30 million makeover from one of the most recognizable faces in the world. good evening. tonight much of the east coast is on high alert and sitting on a slow motion collision course with what forecasters are calling a storm of historic dimensions. at its heart, hurricane sandy. a sprawling system more than 800 mimes wide. capturing these amazing images from space. after killing more than 50 people and causing heavy flooding in the caribbean sandy tonight is tracking parallel along the u.s. coast toward a rare and fateful rendezvous
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on monday with two other potent weather systems. call it a hybrid storm. it's expected to send the full force of sandy careening somewhere in new york with damaging winds and torrential storms. the storm will impact some 64 million people. tonight, eight states and the district of columbia are under states of emergency as officials brace for severe flooding and prolonged power outages. some mandatory evacuations are already under way. forecasters sparing no words in warning just how dangerous this storm is. we've got our team in place to cover it all. let's start in new york with weather channel meteorologist jim cantore. jim, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. more and more preparations under way. then by the time tomorrow night rolls around, we will start to feel the impacts in earnest across much of the northeast. let's talk about this and lay out the impacts of the storm. first of all, the satellite shows a hybrid transition you spoke of. you have a cloud canopy that
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stretches over the entire eastern seaboard with the storm's center currently about 730 mimes to the south of new york city. here's the track. this wild s-shape that has all of us as meteorologists shaking our heads. because never really seen this left hook. it will bring it 150 miles to the south of new york city early tuesday morning. then there is the impact. let's lay them out. we start with the storm surge. in irene at battery park which is where i am tonight, we had three to six feet. we're expecting four to eight feet with this storm here and down the jersey shore as well. that will be higher than what they dealt with during irene. so plan on similar scenarios there. then look at the rainfall. huge areas of two inches plus, four inches plus. locally ten inches in spots in parts of new jersey and the chesapeake bay. if you remember the state of new jersey was one of those heavily fladed flooded back here with irene. then snowfall. to add insult to injury, west
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virginia, ohio, maryland, pennsylvania and parts of virginia could get 50 inches of snow with this. add all these ingredients together, that means power outages, some which will last for weeks. pennsylvania, new york, west virginia, an 800-mile-wide damage path with this. on the 108th anniversary of the opening of the subway system in new york, we're hoping that in 48 hours parts of it won't be under water. >> places are holding their breath tonight. jim cantore in lower manhattan for us tonight. thanks. as we come on the air, they're just beginning to feel the effects on north carolina's outer banks. weather channel meteorologist julie martin joins us now from nags head. julie, how are things there? >> reporter: good evening, lester. things are definitely deteriorating in nags head. we are getting lashed with outer rain bands from sandy, even though it is still well offshore from the carolinas and to my south. just goes to show you the size and strength of this storm. the worst, however, is yet to come here in the outer banks. in fact, late tonight and
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overnight we're going to be dealing with tropical storm conditions, high winds, coastal flooding. possibly even power outages. now, most of the residents here, they've been through nor'easters and hurricanes and tropic the systems many time, and they've decided to ride it out, but one man here told me a long time resident that he's not sure about this strange storm named sandy. and he's not really letting his guard down just yet. probably shouldn't do so. it's already been full of meteorological surprises for us, that is for sure, but this is really just a taste of what is to come in the northeast and probably worse. lester? >> julie martin along north carolina's outer banks tonight. julie, thanks. tonight, millions of americans are heeding the warnings which are becoming increasingly dire as the storm approaches. long lines at stores up and down the coast and all the way west to ohio. ron allen has that end of the story for us from point pleasant beach, new jersey, tonight. ron, good evening to you. >> reporter: good evening, to you, lester.
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the ocean is about 100 yards in that direction which is pretty close to the town over here. the businesses, the boardwalk and the homes. that's why there will be a mandatory evacuation that will end tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 p.m. today was the day to scramble around doing everything possible to be prepared. there is every indication that further inland most people are heeding the warning that the storm could be something extraordinary. they are used to taking on mother nature along the jersey shore where they rolled out the heavy equipment, trying to protect towns from the sea in what forecasters say could be storm surges up to eight feet high. >> because it's so unpredictable, i think we don't know what's going to happen. we are just going to prepare for the worst. >> reporter: the problem is it is just 300 to 400 yards wide at its nay ohhest narrowest point. so they are boarding up and cleaning up everything that's not nailed or tied down. >> i don't think the house will
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be washed away. i think the front yard will probably be gone. >> i don't want to take a chance. >> reporter: getting prepared from north carolina up to new england for a storm expected to be bigger and last longer than irene which ripped through the same densely populated corridor last year causing billions in damage and leaving millions without power. today it took a long time to get gas in connecticut and find supplies at the supermarket as governors urged residents to take this storm seriously. >> let me just be real clear on this at the end. we should not under estimate the impact of this storm. we should not assume the predictions will be wrong. >> folks, this could be bad -- really bad. >> reporter: at the naval station in norfolk, virginia, it was all hands on deck. for now the ships are staying in port. at this marina in new jersey, started taking boats out of the water at the crack of dawn. >> just getting as many as we can. don't want to turn any down and leave them in the water. >> reporter: meanwhile, everyone
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is watching the forecast. in new york city, as early as tomorrow morning officials will decide whether to shut down the subways, tunnels and bridges. near philadelphia, concern about six oil refineries, 7% of the nation's capacity. in atlantic city, the casinos will be shut down tomorrow and the list of cities and towns calling for evacuations will likely grow. but despite the warnings to leave, some still plan to stay. >> we have been able to get through all of the storms without any problem. we just anticipate that we'll be able to do the same thing now. >> reporter: to give you an idea of the scale of things, if the storm turns out to be as bad as predicted, the ocean, the water here along this entire beach, mile after mile in each direction and six blocks in that direction will be several feet deep. lester? >> ron allen on the jersey shore for us this evening. ron, thank you. this storm is already having an effect on the obama and romney campaigns. just ten days until the election. it could have a big effect on
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early voting in several swing states and already both campaigns have cancelled or rescheduled events to get out of the way of the storm. we've got both campaigns covered. we want to begin with kristen welker who's traveling with the pret in new hampshire. kristen, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. president obama is facing a big challenge. he's got to juggle campaigning in the final days with managing a potentially devastating storm. now this hurricane has already impacted his schedule to some extent. he was able to make a stop here in new hampshire. this is a small state that carries a lot of significance. president obama trying to get ahead of hurricane sandy which could diminish his campaign schedule this week. today he visited new hampshire, a state with only four electoral votes, but with the race deadlocked, the president can't afford to leave anything to chance. >> ten days, new hampshire! ten days. >> reporter: the president didn't mention the hurricane in his remarks. aboard air force one today he
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held a conference call with top homeland security advisers who briefed him on storm preparation. hurricane sandy has affected early voting in key swing states like north carolina and could impact the obama campaign strategy of encouraging core supporters to cast ballots before election day. today in new hampshire the president tried to win over the state's undecided voters, arguing mitt romney made empty promises to keep taxes low for middle class americans, accusing him of raising fees as governor of neighboring massachusetts. >> when he's asked about it he said these weren't taxes. these were fees. but keep in mind, there were higher fees to be a barber. higher fees to become a nurse. >> reporter: the romney campaign fired back calling the president's accusations desperate. meanwhile, mr. obama continues to field questions about his administration's response to the attack on the u.s. consulate on benghazi including with msnbc's "morning joe" co-hosts joe
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scarborough and mika brzezinski. >> if we find out that there was a big breakdown, they will be held accountable. ultimately as commander in chief i'm responsible. and i don't shy away from that responsibility. >> reporter: the full interview will air monday. traveling with the president, in new hampshire, kristen welker, nbc news. >> reporter: this is peter zander in lando lakes, florida, where mitt romney is trying to pump up the vote on opening day of the in-person early voting here. vowing he would be a bipartisan leader mr. romney laid into the president. >> he promised that his would be a post partisan presidency. we have watched him over the last four years and he's been divisive and demonized any group that opposed him. >> reporter: minutes earlier marco rubio attacked president obama's proposals with his sharp partisan rebuke. >> they are the ideas of countries that people come here to get away from. >> reporter: mr. romney's
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touring includes stops first in the heavily republican panhandle. then in a democratic leaning county trying to slice into the president's lead before closing the day near tampa, a battleground within this swing state. meanwhile not wanting to risk appearing to put politics before public safety. >> i was looking forward to being in virginia tomorrow, but you know the hurricane is headed up there. i just spoke with governor mcdonald. the governor and i talked about that. he said, you know, the first responders really need to focus on preparation for the storms. >> reporter: the romney campaign said it rescheduled sunday stops in virginia where hurricane sandy is taking aim. >> as ohio goes, so goes america. >> reporter: the republican nominee will join paul ryan tomorrow on the second day of his bus tour through ohio. >> you know it's you. you know what you have in front of you. you know the responsibility. >> reporter: trying to look like it's in the driver's seat the romney campaign launched a fundraising effort to compete in two states the president
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considers his pennsylvania and minnesota. >> peter, i want to bring in kristen as well and get a sense where things are going now. kristen, let me start with you. ten days to go. you noted this race is essentially deadlocked. what's the obama strategy now down the stretch? >> reporter: well, lester, president obama is focusing his closing argument on the issue of trust. he's kind of made the chase mitt romney can't be trusted, because he said he has moved to the middle on key issues, like taxes, foreign policy and education. the president arguing that he's still the best candidate to get the economy back on track. he continues to enlist former president bill clinton to help. the two will be campaigning together in florida on monday. the one thing looming over the closing argument, the october jobs report. it comes out the friday before voters head to the polls. lester? >> peter, a candidate can't be in many places at one time.
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what's the plan now for romney with ten days? where will his focus be? >> reporter: it's a good question. mitt romney will focus on an optimistic jobs oriented theme for the last ten days. they're trying to make a clear contrast between the two candidates. referring to his own candidacy as one of big change and the president is one of status quo. that word "big" we heard 24 times from romney today. we are likely to hear it again several times tonight. lester? >> all right. peter and kristen on the campaign trail for us tonight. thank you. we want to let you know, from now through election day you can watch every presidential campaign event streaming live online at nbc other news tonight. authorities in michigan launched a manhunt to catch a possible serial shooter. at least 24 drivers have been shot at along i-96 in the last two weeks. the latest happening today. two cars were shot at. one man was hit while driving to the world series. the bullet came through the driver's side door. authorities say he's expected to be okay.
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nover seas now to the crisis in syria where a muslim holiday cease-fire deal appears to be over after just a day. government forces launched air strikes around damascus today, flattening buildings. rebel forces responded with bomb blasts of their own. at least 16 people died in back and forth attacks. a lot more to tell you about on this saturday night as we continue on "nightly news." what did they know and when did they know it? a new twist tonight in the investigation to that deadly meningitis outbreak. later, lady liberty like we haven't quite seen her before.
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we're back now with an update on the deadly outbreak of viral meningitis tied to tainted steroid injections. the cdc said today 25 people have died. the number of cases up to 344 in 18 states. there are disturbing new findings involving the massachusetts pharmacy that made the drugs. the latest from nbc senior
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investigative correspondent lisa myers. >> reporter: george kerry's wife lillian died of meningitis after she and her husband received injections of tainted steroids for back pain. >> it's a tragedy that my wife and i and the thousands of other people have been exposed to this contaminated medication. >> reporter: now his family says george is in the hospital with meningitis, though it's not yet confirmed that tainted steroids are the cause. >> this is a large and ongoing catastrophe. >> reporter: one leading expert predicts there will be many more victims. >> i think we are in the middle of the meningitis outbreak. and the end is not yet in sight. >> reporter: the fda revealed friday that federal inspectors who investigated the new england compounding facility found greenish black foreign matter and white filamentous material in supposedly ste really vials of steroids and green, yellow and reddish residue in clean
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rooms or rooms used to mix medicines. the fda said the pharmacy's sampling repeatedly found bacteria and mold in supposedly sterile rooms between january and september 2012. yet no documented corrective actions were taken. an necc spokesman said, we will review this report and will continue our cooperation with the fda. >> the fact that this has been occurring, it seems like under the noses of both the federal and state regulators is shocking. >> reporter: massachusetts regulators are under fire for rejecting a staff recommendation six years ago to reprimand the company and put it on probation after necc claimed that could put it out of business. the company was allowed to simply agree to change procedures. state officials say they are now reviewing the decision. the fda said it's authority over
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compounding farm sirs is limited, but it is committed to strengthant system to prevent future tragedies. lisa myers, nbc news, washington. more bad news tonight for lance armstrong days after being stripped of seven tour de france titles for doping armstrong is being asked to return nearly $4 million in prize money for those victories from 1999 through 2005. the international cycling union says it won't award those titles to the second-place finishers due to the cloud of suspicion hanging over the sport in those years. up next here tonight at 126 she's looking better than ever. but let's say she's had a little work done.
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she may have to share the spotlight with hurricane sandy,
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but the statue of liberty is set to re-open tomorrow on her 126th birthday after a $30 million renovation. nbc's michelle franzen got a preview today. >> reporter: for much of the past year this is how lady liberty appeared. construction teams revamping the pedestal and parts of her interior, all to give visitors better access to the crown. for rachel ingram it's the view from outside that takes her breath away. >> it's the symbolism, what it represents to america and what it means to all of us. >> reporter: during the year-long renovations, the grounds were open to the public. now people will have a chance to get a new and improved look from the inside of this historic landmark. the way people make the journey to the top has dramatically changed. out of date staircases and the glass enclosed elevator shaft have been upgraded. >> we now have fire separated staircases. we have a a fire separated elevator shaft. we have for the first time ever a lift that will take
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handicapped folks from the end of the elevator up to the observation deck. >> whoo! >> reporter: visitors will still have to climb from the base of the observation deck to the top to take in the stunning views. a trek duane harris remembers when he was a boy. >> it was a very narrow passage. took a while to get up there. so my dad and i did attempt and were successful. once we got up there we were able to see throughout the hudson river and parts of new york. >> reporter: now he plans to bring his kids back to do the same. >> it would be cool going up there. >> reporter: the passing of the torch from one generation to another. and with her latest nips and tucks, lady liberty will stand tall for years to come. michelle franzen, nbc news, new york. when we come back here, time quickly running out to prepare. the latest on hurricane sandy.
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. . . . . . . . we're back now with a final
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check on the path of the massive storm kes aim at the east coast. hurricane specialist bryan norcross joins us from the weather channel headquarters. bryan, good evening. >> good evening, lester. yes, this is an absolutely unique storm, but it is taking an unprecedented path. let me show you the storm. i want to show you what is so special about it. it's a combination of a hurricane right here in the center, and a nor'easter that's this big here. it's one storm embedded inside the other. it's going to move to the north and then turn inland. we have never seen a path like that. there is nothing like that in our record book for a storm coming from the south. now here are the damaging winds. this is where tree branches come down and we start to have problems and driving around becomes a problem. here we are tomorrow morning about 9:00 affecting cape hatteras and the tide water area at that time. the strongest winds are staying offshore. here we come to the north, monday morning early. notice at this point the strongest winds are now beginning to affect the big cities of the northeast and
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moving into new england. so we would not recommend driving around beginning early monday morning. and then moving through the day on monday, the strongest winds come in, pushing the seawater against long island, against the jersey shore, and in towards new york city. a lot more to talk about and look at tomorrow. back to you, lester. >> bryan norcross, thank you. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. tomorrow we'll be coming to you from virginia as we track hurricane sandy and look at the storm's potential impact on a state that's playing a critical role in the presidential election. that's tomorrow morning on "today" and of course tomorrow evening as well. for now, i'm lester holt reporting tonight from washington. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night.
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good evening. we begin with developing news. that super storm that's brewing along the east coast that you just heard about on "nightly news" tonight hurricane sand chip has prompted several governors along the coast to declare states of emergency. 60 million people are in the path of that storm. it's expected to come ashore early tuesday morning and as it moves inland it may meet up with two other weather systems and potentially create one huge mega storm. we have team coverage of hurricane sandy tonight. we go to sfo where the storm could cause cancellations and we want to begin with our meteorologist. >> the very latest that we have on hurricane sandy as reported in by

NBC Nightly News
NBC October 27, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Sandy 10, New York 6, Virginia 5, New Hampshire 5, Fda 4, New York City 4, North Carolina 3, Lester 3, Obama 3, Pennsylvania 3, Nbc News 3, Nbc 3, Massachusetts 2, Florida 2, Kristen 2, Washington 2, Ohio 2, New England 2, U.s. 2, New Jersey 2
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